We welcomed Rowan Willigan to campus for two weeks in February as part of Millbrook's John Berkey Class of 1991 Visiting Artist Program.
Rowan's art practice integrates choreography and drawing, and our students collaborated across disciplines to create with her.
During her first few days on campus, students studying ceramics created mortar and pestles that were utilized to grind materials, which were then used by Millbrook dance students to study the concept of chance through choreography. Simultaneously, drawing students observed and sketched to study this concept through a different art form.
Following these exercises, these studies were pursued further through collaboration with students studying chemistry. In the chemistry lab, students created vibrant pigments made of strategically selected materials that would not irritate the dancers' skin during choreography.
To culminate the immersive two-week experience with Rowan, students and faculty came together and presented an art exhibit in the Warner Gallery, Performance Artifacts
. The exhibit illustrated the power of collaboration and creativity through photography, paintings, and the different methods that students used to create pigments.
Millbrook was able to bring Rowan Willigan to campus through the generosity of alumnus John Berkey ’91, whose sponsorship is driven by the goal of bringing more artists to campus.
“When we initially began discussions about bringing different artists to campus, we knew that we wanted to invite people who would foster collaboration. It has been exciting to watch our students immerse themselves in Rowan's hands-on artistic process, as well as to watch them collaborate outside of the Holbrook Arts Center to create truly unique artworks,” said Arts Department Chair Sarah MacWright.
It was an honor to welcome Rowan Willigan, and we look forward to learning from other professional artists throughout that John Berkey Class of 1991 Visiting Artist Program. Visit our online photo gallery
for photos for images from the experience.